Thursday, May 5, 2011

Backgroundless Canes


As I previously posted about the backgroundless canes, I told you I would post some photos of them as I finished them.

I was surprised at the size of the purple flowers when I finished them. They were smaller than I had anticipated, although ALMOST the size I needed for the project. The thing that keeps throwing me, and I mean throwing me, is the bulk of the play-doh in addition to the outer wrap of scrap clay.

When I cane now, I use a thinner wrap of translucent or color that I can not only see, but can visualize as my project. I know how much clay it takes to get a 20mm face or a 10mm face.  And I know when I am done reducing it.

With the backgroundless, you lose sight of your core and it is easy to over reduce. I was shooting for a 15mm five petal daisy and ended up with a 5mm five petal daisy. Yikes!

Since I don’t do nail canes or nail art, I am not sure what I will use these for. I will find a home for them though, no cane is unloved here. Maybe there is a thimble that needs some pretty daisies on it.

So I went back and started over.

The finished daisies are 20mm petal to petal – the cane was much larger than that before I started peeling away the outer layers of it.


I have had some ups and downs and with the soaking and the removal of the play-doh, but I have been able to get it all off.

If you are baking them for rods and beads right away, it isn’t as much of an issue as if you are selling the finished canes. The play-doh can be flicked out with a toothpick after the rod is baked.

On a raw cane, the play-doh can become dried if it sits on your workbench overnight and I talked with another clay artist and she had trouble with the play-doh leaving dried bits in her raw cane which made it unusable for selling.

Don’t use a toothbrush to clean the raw cane in the water.  <--- voice of experience here! 

Do use a soft bristled clean paintbrush to gently brush the clay away as it dissolves. It’s kinder on the clay. Unless texture is your thing.

I sliced my cane for beads and because I didn’t want to distort it – because I can’t remember which of my blades is the newest one – I stuck the cane in the freezer for about 10 minutes before I started slicing.

I don’t know if it is me or if anyone else has noticed this, but the clay – I used premo! – is tacky feeling after all the mangling that I did to it. I don’t know if this is a result of the play-doh against it, the soaking in the water that I did, or just the usual premo! consistency that I haven’t been paying attention to.  Their black is odd at times for some reason. It’s definitely tacky.

I will keep working on this project, I have a lot of reasons to have backgroundless canes and I know that there is a way to do it.

Here is my first real attempt at doing the canes.



See this post for instructions on how to create canes with play-doh - Backgroundless Canes by Idit Zoota.


surfingcat said...

Cute daisies! Wouldn't your tiny cane be the cutest little beads?

I found my canes went tacky with some types of play doh and not with others.Hasbro playdoh was alright for me with Kato clay.

I felt much the same as you when I tried it. It's great to have backgroundless canes and it's a neat idea but the amount of scrap clay you need and hassle of cleaning it up...

I tend to just make small canes now, reducing at the petal stage. Can be a little fiddly, and can be a really long bit of cane for a while but it works.

Julie L. Cleveland said...

I used premo and the hasbro play-doh, you might have something there. I wonder how it would do with homemade dough?

You have more patience than I, I get frustrated with the reduction at the petal stage. I am not coordinated enough to get that tiny without smashing it to bits :)

As always, we keep trying new things and working until we find something we like.